Hyper-Conservatism and the Christian Republican Paradox

The Hyper-Conservatism Movement

As I sat, eagerly awaiting the results to come in to the CNN newsroom on the night of November 7th, still uncertain whether or not the country would re-elect President Barack Obama, I began to wonder: Why are there so many Republicans?

It is important to make the distinction between Republican and Conservative.  A Republican is a member of, follower or supporter of the Republican political party in the United States.  A Conservative is one that seeks to retain traditional institutions or values. Many times, these two terms are linked, or tied together, however, the sort of Hyper-Conservatism that the modern Republican Party preaches is far from what many Conservatives may wish adherence to.

The results started coming into the CNN newsroom and States were being called as falling to Mitt Romney or staying with Barack Obama.  Every hour, excitement would fill the air as polling places closed and viewers were treated to a new set of exit-poll data. As the night went on, it became more and more clear that Mitt Romney would not be going to bed that night as President-Elect Mitt Romney.  As CNN called the race, a rush of cool relief blew through me and I was able to sleep soundly.

It took a couple of weeks for all of the votes to be counted.  President Obama finished with over 60 percent of the electoral vote but only 51 percent of the popular vote over Mitt Romney’s 47 percent.  Though Mitt Romney was not the ideal candidate for the Republican Party, (he was too moderate for many of the party leaders) Romney was believed to be the best choice for the Republican’s if they wanted to unseat the powerhouse Obama.

The number that haunts me from that election: 47 percent.  My perplexity comes not because of Romney’s priceless ’47% gaffe’ a few weeks before the election, but because the Republican candidate received 47 percent of the popular vote.

I digress to my question from the first paragraph: Why are there so many Republicans?  To understand why I ask this question, you must understand some of the Hyper-Conservative values that the political gurus and special interest leaders that are currently harnessing the Republican politicians in Washington and at the State level lobby for.  This is a short list of social platforms(with the exception of the first bullet point) that Republican politicians are/have been pushing for in the last few years:

  • Little-to-no central government control
  • More guns (per the NRA)
  • Lower taxes for the ultra-rich (per the Bush tax cuts)
  • No more immigrants, especially the brown-skinned ones
  • Woman, blacks, legal immigrants, gays, the poor, and non-Christians are unequal to rich, respectable white men.
  • Keep the citizens unhealthy unless they are wealthy enough to buy health care from a monopolized system
  • Offer the poor no help, for they are nothing
  • Keep the rich prosperous and the poor starving
  • Jesus, Jesus, Jesus

The first thing you may notice is that my observations are slightly biased and almost certainly a bit facetious.  Secondly, these views are not those of any respectable Conservative, which is the main demographic that the Republican Party hopes to represent.  These are the views of a political movement led astray by power and money hungry men that seek the regress a Country of the People to a place in which oppression, violence, and discrimination are fair occurrences and the hope for a bright future is nil; it is the imprisonment of any man, woman, or child that is not of uniformity with those in power.

The Hyper-Conservative push in the Republican Party is what makes the statistic of 47 percent so baffling.  Is it really true that 47 percent of Americans hold these Hyper-Conservative ideas?  The percentage of Americans that these views actually support (super-rich, white, male, Christians) is only about 0.2 percent.  It is important to note that by super-rich, the salary standard used here is about $1,000,000 per year.

How then can the Republican Party still con so many people into voting for their side, even though Hyper-Conservatism is so radical and unsettling to most?  The answer is simple: Christianity.

The Christian Republican Paradox

The answer to the million dollar question is so surprisingly simple; the ape that humans didn’t evolve from could answer it.  How do you continue to receive almost half of the votes in national political campaigns while still running on platforms that would make any radical squeamish?  Pander to the largest demographic in the country: Christians.

I am not going to distinguish different Christian sects from one another, for they all have a simple proposition in common: Jesus Christ was the one true prophet of God’s chosen people.  They may have disagreements as to how the church is led, but that does not come into politics, provided the candidate doesn’t bring it up.

It is ingenious: ally with, and in some cases, control the Christians and you will be alright.  About 75 percent of Americans identify as Christian.  This overwhelming and troubling ideological base is the perfect outlet for radical alignment.  This is where the majority of the fleeting Republican vote must come from.

However, this axis of ideological evil seems to be married under a false presupposition; I guess it takes an outsider point out the adultery: Jesus Christ was a solid liberal, not a staunch conservative.

I know, this may come as a shock to many Christians, mostly because Christians don’t read the Bible, but Jesus overtly spoke out against many things that the Republican party stands for.  In addition, Jesus was silent about many of the things that Christian’s disapprove of now.

While hurling around too many Biblical references without proper context can be shaky for an argument, it is a necessity to understand the words that are placed in Jesus’s mouth by his authors:

About the poor:

Luke 6:20-21 Then he looked up at his disciples and said: ‘Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

‘Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. ‘Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.

Help for the poor:

Luke 18:22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

Healing the sick:

Matthew 4:23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.

Jesus was a champion of the poor, sick, and hungry, he advocated pacifism (rather than arming yourself against your neighbor), and he helped liberated minorities and women from tyranny of powerful, money-hungry men.

Not enough?  How about some things that Jesus didn’t mention but are still vital to the Republican Party and the American Christian church’s abilities to oppress:

  • Homosexuality
  • Abortion
  • Marriage
  • Believe this way or be oppressed
  • It’s okay to dislike people that are different than you

If you don’t believe me, or think that I am misrepresenting your ‘savior,’ I challenge you to read the Bible.  Stop arguing with each other about what Jesus would do and read the book.  Yes, this presupposition is that most Christians do not actually read the Bible.  Many may challenge this statement but if it were false, than Christians would not be swayed by false statements and quotes that are used to entrap the mis/uninformed.

The paradox is that the man that 75 percent of Americans base their lives on is misrepresented and used to enslave millions of people that would otherwise be free of tyranny if they would just open the book they swear their own lives on.

Hyper-Conservatism and the Republican Party are ruining the voice of reasonable Conservatives and making it taboo to hold any traditional value.  Though it may seem to be a step towards utopia to see Conservatism abolished (at least my more liberal contemporaries would say so), it is dangerous.  There must be a balance between reasonable conservative values and liberal ideas to achieve progression as a nation.

The only reasonable course of action is the abolition of the modern Republican Party.  In its place, bring forth a reasonable conservative platform that leaves out the radical notions.  Let those that would have sought to oppress others who fall lower than those they once wished to oppress beg for forgiveness; and forgiveness will be granted.

Twitter: @dustin_mcmahon

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33 thoughts on “Hyper-Conservatism and the Christian Republican Paradox

  1. Interesting post.

    America has a civil religion, and it’s not Christianity per se; it’s based on Christianity, certainly, but it draws more from American values than from Scripture. It’s an Abrahamic faith, in the sense that it’s mostly based on God’s promise to Abraham: blessing. American Evangelicalism takes God’s promise to Abraham about a chosen people to refer to themselves. If they are blessed, it is because they are God’s chosen people. With such logic, they can do no wrong.

    At the same time, politics (particularly two-party politics) reduces complex issues to polarizing soundbites, and any issue presented as a moral issue compels Christians to vote on the Conservative side. Here in Canada, our Conservative party is on record as saying that they most certainly will not touch the abortion issue, and that they are not a morally conservative party, and yet I’ve had many of my fellow Christians tell me that we have to vote Conservative because they’re the only party who will address abortion.

    I wish it were as simple as reading the Bible. They do read it, and to some degree they understand it. Some of my Bible-scholar friends are card-carrying Republicans, and though they’re much more moderate than the current party (it’s hard not to be), the same conservative principles still exist. I think for many people the issue is not a lack of Bible reading, but rather a twisting of what the Bible is actually saying on a lot of issues. There are tensions in the text, and emphases can go either way even for moderate readers, but when there is a strong cultural emphasis on one particular concept or value in the text (e.g., blessing, purity, etc.) it can take over one’s entire conception of the text. We see what we want to see, so sadly, more Bible reading won’t help.

    Reply
  2. Thank you for the comment. I agree with much of what you are saying but please allow me to respond to a few of your ideas:

    It is very true that much of American Christianity is not in line with traditional Christianity. In modern America, it seems that some parts of Christian theology are undergoing a change from a community of parishioners to an individualistic methodology of belief. This change is likely the causation of the attitude of most Americans that came from the idea of the ‘self-made man.’ This ideology is growing because you do not have to be part of a community to be saved; you simply have to ‘accept’ Jesus Christ as a savior and be done with it. It is perhaps my fault for generalizing Christianity as I did, to create this misrepresentation in the piece. Not all of America is like that.

    I agree with your point that a two-party system breeds ‘sound-bite political reasoning.’ My point is that the conservative movement is being destroyed in America because of the Hyper-Conservative social movement. These people are attempting to create a Utopia of all-white, American born, Christian gun-lovers. The issue is that those people are degrading the Constitution, which is considered by many Americans to be a second Bible. The aforementioned Conservatives are reducing the Constitution to include less and less of the population.

    In America, the statement “Christians don’t read the Bible” is true. The movement of Christians that worship without denominational support take a hearsay tradition that they are taught from their parents and the community, and do not feel the need to read the Bible in its entirety. The ‘passing down’ of the religion is akin to the way many religions (including Native American beliefs) were passed before writing had be developed. However, those that do attend services are as guilty of not reading the Bible. While these statements are not true for all members of the churches of America, many believe that ‘reading the Bible’ is as simple as attending church and listening to the Priest, Pastor, Reverend, etc. recite and interpret the Bible for them. This practice is extremely dangerous because the result is what is being seen in America today: A misrepresentation of the actual events in the Bible to support bogus claims about God/Christianity/Jesus Christ.

    I hope I responded adequately to your observations.

    Reply
    • Hello! Hopped on your blog and started reading, I ended up with a humongous post, apologies!

      I think it was Penn Jillette that pointed out to me the rise of “Christianity” as it is today, in that Catholics, Protestants, what have you, realized in the last century that they had to band together to confront the issues (abortion being a big one) He mentioned a book, I’ll have to try and find it, but anyways, that does make sense if you just look at Ireland, or the Sunni/Shiite divide, though I honestly am not learned enough on that subject to claim a direct comparison. From my own understanding, it seems it used to be a big division. You could try and drive a wedge, if you’re really inclined.

      The current issue is, I think, a very systemic problem. You could blame the two party system, that would be a good debate worth having, but in my view, the nationalization of our politics has made them band together in order to survive, and we’ve seen their increased influence (parties and Christians). Christians haven’t been Christians since Constantine or before, once again they’re politicized. I think the simplest illustration of my point is that I see signs of candidates for a school board that say “Democrat” and “Republican.” I am a little upset by that. What are those two words doing on a school board candidate’s poster? Do they get money from a national political party? I should find that out. Talk about big government. I’d recommend a read of Washington’s farewell address. It’s more than a two party system. We’re making all of our politics national, and faith is more than happy to step up to the plate. I’ve heard many educated, progressive thinking people say “well, all that matters is the president,” when it comes to elections. To me, that is painful to hear. Here’s Washington:

      “They serve to organize faction; to give it an artificial
      and extraordinary force; to put in the place of the
      delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a
      small but artful and enterprising minority of the
      community; and, according to the alternate triumphs
      of different parties, to make the public administration
      the mirror of the ill concerted and incongruous
      projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent
      and wholesome plans digested by common
      councils and modified by mutual interests. However
      combinations or associations of the above description
      may now and then answer popular ends, they
      are likely, in the course of time and things, to become
      potent engines by which cunning, ambitious,
      and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the
      power of the people and to usurp for themselves the
      reins of government, destroying afterwards the very
      engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

      My point is that I don’t think reading the book will change anything, like jwheels said. I’m an Atheist, I don’t believe in God, I will debate with them at every turn, but it goes deeper than the book. I think you read my post, I said that as a Christian, I got a 4.0 on a high school biology final without “believing” in evolution, meaning I didn’t actually understand it. The fact that Atheists still say Christians don’t “believe” in evolution makes me think we’re going about the issue all wrong. They don’t understand, and it’s up to all of us to make sure they do understand it, not to make sure they renounce their faith entirely.

      That is to say I don’t think we need an American Mao. Christianity, just like Confucianism, should not be made a scapegoat for bad government, at its core. We won’t get (nor should we desire) a Great Leap Forward to Atheism, by telling people “just read your own book.” I believe they are wrong, it is immensely frustrating and mind boggling, and yet, it takes time. I think we’ve begun believing the lie that we can’t all live together and get along.

      Why are there so many Republicans? Good question. I think another good question is: Why isn’t there a Bull Moose party? Teddy lost out to Wilson, but he beat the Republican Taft. National political machines is my hypothesis. That much money and power doesn’t just disappear, they do whatever they have to in order to survive, whatever the cost. Let me put it this way: should we condemn every single soldier that fought in World War I? I sometimes feel like we are on the verge of dealing with two competing nationalist systems. A very difficult question is how to engage with them, how to respond to them, to get to the core of their grievances and address them so that we all can work within the framework of the constitution.

      How we address the poor, for example, is a great question. Some people just think NGO’s (including churches) should do it. Jesus said to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, but people see him as an example of a self sacrifice that goes beyond giving the tax man his due. It’s an interesting debate in my view, and shouldn’t be boiled down too much. Roman/Byzantine emporerors and future Western monarchs saw as C.S. Lewis did, the whole “Lunatic, Liar, or Lord” deal, and filled in the obvious with their own mortar. “Christianity,” as I said, is much, much more than the Bible, and people do see what they want to see. Explaining the other Western traditions that have evolved, and how modern society needs to work differently, is a great challenge. The question of how much we should rely on government is also a great question worthy of the contention that it receives, We have to be careful not to push decent people away from the outset. I think many Americans, even those who don’t “believe” in evolution, would be willing to have a conversation that comes from respect, especially the kind of respect that Jillette talks about, which is being able to say “I think you’re wrong,” allowing them to say the same, and then sitting down and talking about it. Not everyone has the time to analyze things critically, we should help make time for it.

      I feel like my thoughts are a little bit jumbled here and started going towards the end, but hopefully I uttered at least something productive or provocative!

      Reply
      • Let me first say: Thank you for your comment. It seems that our views are fairly similar (for I too am an Atheist and deny the existence of God) but I will address the points you made to the best of my abilities.

        1) It is very true that Christianity has had to unite in the past 100 years in America to fight what the different denominations believe are dangerous to the belief structure. Those harmful to the church are, but are not limited to: Non-Christians, Atheists, Scientists, Gays, Liberals, etc. With the rise of Liberalism in particular, the country has become more accepting of different cultures, ideas, and belief systems. This is harmful to the church because for 1500 years, the Christian churches have relied on keeping their parishioners ignorant to the advancements outside the Church. You can attribute this to many things, but one example is the fact that many of the ‘universal truths’ from the Bible, like the story of creation, are being called into question and often times, disproven by the rise of the scientific method.
        I read an interesting quote from a Rabbi in America that read something to the effect of: “We are losing attendance, not only to Jewish Synagogues, but in Christian Churches as well. There must be a push to get people back into places of worship, regardless of religion.”
        So, the Rabbi was expressing that he doesn’t care that people don’t come to his synagogue, as long as they are going somewhere to worship.
        However, the unity of the Church was not enough to stop the rise of liberalism (again, not the only factor, but a major one). So, the way to combat this was to start to legislate. We see this more in the last 40 years than before, but the Christian Church has taken up arms with the Republican party and now, we have the Christian Right (contradictions and all). Following that, we have had a rise of Hyper-Conservatism (with the Tea Party movement and others) in the last 5-10 years that are high-jacking Christianity and Conservatism belief.
        2) I agree that you cannot blame a two party system for the problems we are having. However, I do dispute the point that “Christians haven’t been Christians since Constantine or before[.]” While, yes, they are politicized, my argument is that Christians are still Christians; they just live their lives in a different way. It is an evolution of beliefs in the Christian party that gives rise to new sects of Christianity. Much like Mahayana Buddhism, Christians in America are making a push for a more individualized spiritual existence, rather than a public community of belief structure.
        I think it is interesting that you bring up this point: ‘“Democrat” and “Republican.” I am a little upset by that. What are those two words doing on a school board candidate’s poster? Do they get money from a national political party?’ I wonder this myself but I think the answer is very simple: Obviously, it does not matter if the county coroner is a democrat or republican; it is in fact a mere formality.
        3) I do agree that reading the Bible will not cause a massive shift, necessarily, in the ideology of conservative Christians. However, I do believe that a variable in the transformation of the ideology is just that. In fact, I believe it is the first step in understanding what their faith asks of them, because without the book, the belief system will die out (like Native American religion and a probably enumerable amount more). It is the case that non-thinking Christians will simply brush off the words they read in the Bible because they cannot understand them. But those that wish to pursue their faith (and hopefully eventually un-belief) will start to educate themselves to a point of understanding and ability to interpret the early century literature. I admit, though, that it may wishful thinking on my part that people will change for the better if they are aimed in the right direction.
        4) I agree with what you say about disputing the amount that we should depend on the Government, but I think it is a separate discussion.

        Again, thank you. I do appreciate you taking the time to respond to my thoughts and I do believe I have done the same for you.

      • Ah, it wouldn’t let me reply above for some reason. Thanks for the extrapolation, Interesting thoughts, quick reply:

        On the second point: My argument was that Christians haven’t been the same since Constantine due to the adoption of Christianity as the state religion, fusing it with the Western tradition and potentially giving rise to some of the contradictions that you enumerated. I was proposing approaching the contradictions from that angle as a possible way to argue with people that grew up within that historical context. I’m not quite sure about the push for a more individualized experience. The numbers do actually support that though, “undecided” being the fastest growing group in America, which is a good sign. As for formality of party affiliation, the national party already tries to buy the seats they need, why not take it to the extreme, if not now, later? Need to research for myself on that one, good. It obviously doesn’t matter, but to a overreaching fanatical party system….?

        Third point: I see what you’re saying, and as someone who was previously a Christian, I might be an example product of your wishful thinking. I don’t really agree that without the book, the belief system will die out. You just illustrated how it isn’t really the book that perpetrates the belief, so I think you’re dealing with a different sort of creature. Culture, civilization, what I call the “god” organism, sadly no blog post to elucidate that idea further, yet at least. Native American belief persisted, to my knowledge, up until the conquest of America. Though I don’t honestly know that much about it. I think it is dangerous to think that people who read what you’ve read or read the bible will come to the same conclusions as you and I. I often wonder what would have derailed me from my own path and try to use that in discourse with others. Were you raised religious? People often read things in a way that supports their argument or belief, we all do it to some extent. I think that is one of the main points of discussion I have with fellow Atheists. I feel as though there is a sort of expectation that people educate themselves and come to these conclusions themselves. Not an easy concept to grapple with, and I suppose I come down on the side of more activism, not on the no god part but more on the parts that I at least am concerned about, like education about evolution, physics, etc.

        Yeah, not meaning to argue or nit pick but I think it is an interesting discussion to have about how these things could be approached. I think watching Harris, Bennet, Dawkins, and Hitchens in their Four Horseman conversation on YouTube got my mind going in that direction.

      • It is also not letting me reply to your newest post.

        I thank you for discussing these issues with me and hope to get to do it again soon.
        The Four Horsemen discussion is fantastic and gets me excited about meaningful discussion too.

  3. i’m an incredibly liberal person, but i’m very much saddened by the lack of respectable leaders in modern american conservatism. i think you’re right– the republican party as it exists today has harnessed the power of religion (and fear) to trick people into actually voting against their own values and interests, and it’s disturbing that so many don’t even seem to realize they’ve been bamboozled. when things don’t turn out well for the average voter, it’s very easy for the republican party to blame things on the other– liberals, people of color, gays, women, socialists, whomever is an appropriate scapegoat– and the cycle continues. unfortunately, i fear that simply getting rid of the republican party won’t help much as long as voters seem determined to remain uninformed and cafeteria christians continue to select only those parts of christianity which are convenient and make themselves feel superior– my concern would be that whatever rational conservatism rises up to replace the gop would be taken over by the same radicals and plutocrats that govern the political system now.

    Reply
    • Thank you for the comment! I do agree that it is possible that if the modern republican party is abolished, there will be another party to take its place. However, I think that it is possible that a more moderate version of that party is the logical next step (which would be good for the country because there would be more than one good forward-moving path for the legislative branch.

      Reply
      • you are more optimistic than i. let’s hope for both our sake that you’re right. 🙂

      • It’s interesting because I am also extremely cynical at times. Maybe my writing is mildly akin to the American romanticist movement of the early 1800s.

  4. First let me thank you for visiting Chimaera Imaginarium. I really appreciate it.

    If you liked Socially Acceptable Behaviour and judging by this post above, you might want to stop by The Baby And The Bathwater. You can also get there from Chimaera Imaginarium using the “Home” link on the top menu.

    While I agree with much of what you’re saying here, I must tell you that I think you’re being a bit too optimistic if you think there’s any significant difference between the Republicrats and the Demopublicans.

    I think america and the entire world is in much worse shape than you imagine. We are facing a “perfect storm” of crises, all converging simultaneously, that threaten the very survival of the human species and most Life on Earth.

    Reply
  5. You make a very crucial distinction, and the future of the Republican Party depends on whether THEY are able to see it. THANKS for visiting my “pun-ny” photoblog and leaving a “like.”
    –John R.

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  6. I guess the GOP exists mostly, these days, because it isn’t the Democrats. For me, it trys so hard tp avoid offending any prospective voter that it ends standing up for little more than motherhood (with qualifications) and patriotism. Its more conservative Teafolk voted with their feet and the party leadership is trying to move left after younger voters, seems to me.

    The Obamafolk are attacking both Christian and Jewish beliefs (birth control, abortion, gay marriage) but enjoy Catholic and Jewish votes. Black churches are unhappy with that and so are many Protestant ones but both parties seem content now to marginalize them.

    Our two party system seems set to maximize the distribution of the spoils, trading off when too many reject the current authority and maintaining a place to go (and bring your contribution) when your guy is out. Outside the talking points, I see little difference in what they actually do in office. (Remember when Obama and the Dems were complaining about Bush’s spending?

    Reply
    • Thank you for the thought-provoking paragraphs.

      I do agree with you in most respects. However, I do think that it is a little bit more complicated than the Obama supporters and administration attacking Christians and Jews. It says nothing in the bible about birth control, abortion, or gay marriage and as I state in my post, it has been the duty of the Republican far-right to make many Christians believe it does.

      Also, the reason our deficit is so high is because of the Bush spending, nobody would have ground to stand on if they denied that. Now, many of the Republican party leaders are acknowledging that fact as well.

      Having said that, a two party system, as you stated, is not a great system for politics. It makes people believe that there are only two sides to each issue, when we know that is definitely not the case.

      Thanks again for the read and comment.

      Reply
  7. I’m new to blogging, but not new to healthy, hopefully intelligent conversation. Thanks for leaving a “like” on my blog. If I can do so without my iPad crashing as it has begun to do lately, I’ll do the same, not for simple reciprocity, but because I perceive you guys are actually doing some pretty darn good thinking here.

    Yes, all of it including my own, navigated significantly by these pesky little biases inside, but nonetheless a good honest effort to get above the surface of things and hopefully perceive a broader horizon.

    As a Christian (running pretty far afield from what has been described in the posts and replies) I really appreciate the dialogue.

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  8. I’m done with all of the political party labels. I do define myself as a Christian though. I think you are right that the words of Jesus Christ are often misinterpreted in order to push an agenda that certainly isn’t that of God. One of the greatest freedoms we have in America is that of choosing what to believe and worshiping how we decide. I think the republican party is off the mark, but I also think the democrat party is off the mark. Liberals, progressives and conservatives are off the mark. We won’t find peace through division, only unity, which is what Jesus taught. I’m wondering something, you said that the republicans are working to imprison all people, but what about the democrats? Do you think your liberal peers aren’t seeking the same thing? I’m not trying to attack or demean, I’m curious what your perspective is on that. Personally I see both established parties as dangerous for American freedom.
    All interpretations of Bible verses aside, Jesus taught the first great commandment, meaning if you only adhere to one, make it this, was to love God above all else, and then to love your neighbor as yourself. If we’d all embrace that we’d see a lot of improvement. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Thank you again for the thought-provoking comment.

      A little background on me to help answer your question: I hold many of the characteristics and beliefs of a social liberal, as you may have noticed by my posts, but I do not consider myself a member of either political party. I vote in a way that would elect people with similar political views as mine (which is how I’ve observed most of America is now).

      In response to your question: Although, as you can see, I am biased, I am a philosopher before I am anything else and that implores me to try to make fair observations about my sense perceptions. That being said, I do not see the Democratic Party as an untouchable party, but I do recognize that the Republican Party is doing much more harm to the freedoms of people in the country than the Democrats.

      As an example, during the Bush presidency, which are years I’m sure we would all like to forget, the Democrats were in the same position in congress that the Republicans are in right now. However, the Democrats did not block hardly any of the legislation inspired by Bush. They let the man that the country elected to run the country, run the country. By contrast, the last congress was the least-active congress in the United States history. The only purpose of congress at this time (in the eyes of John Boehner) is to block the President from accomplishing anything.

      That is so far away from what the founding fathers though of when Madison proposed checks and balances in the Federalist pamphlets.

      I am not saying that the Democratic party is free from blame, but at this time, it is the Republican party that is affecting the American freedoms they wish to protect.

      Reply
      • Very good point! My bias shows as well, but like you I want to be objective and consider the facts, as hard as that is for me sometimes. I try to be a psychologist first, myself, and consider people and society, all within an objective observer perspective.

        I agree with you that the current installment of republicans in congress seem to have the mission statement of “stop President Obama from doing anything.” It is pretty obvious. Personally I don’t like the direction that the democratic party is going in, but like you said, those in office were elected fairly (hopefully, the stories of voter fraud come up, but there doesn’t seem to be substantial evidence to support them) so if they are representing the people then they should not be stubbornly blocked due to party lines. I do however, disagree that only the republican party is endangering freedom. While it does seem an obstruction of the legislated process for republicans to block everything the president does, I do think that some of what he seeks to do also endangers freedom. That is a discussion all its own, however.

        It would be great if the people in the country would leave the party lines for voting. I think if that happened then the candidates might become a little more diverse and we’d end up with more than only two viable options. I don’t think that was intended by the founders either, that we’d have only two real options come election day, between a guy that is independently wealthy enough to support his own campaign or by an established politician with deep connections. Those seem to be the two types we usually have presented to us. I still can’t understand why when there are hundreds of millions of people in the country we had a father and son combo serve with only two terms separation. There weren’t any other good options? Something is wrong with that.

        I could go on, but I’ll probably just catch up with you on another post. I like what I’ve read so far. Thanks for providing good topics and strong arguments that inspire discussion.

      • I agree that it would be wonderful to have a candidate that was like the ‘every-person,’ it will not happen because the ‘every-person’ does not giver the impression that a leader must give. Interesting thoughts. Thank you.

  9. You have reminded me of a street proselytizer I heard the other day. His text was Matthew, Jesus speaking to the Pharisees: “He that is not with me is against me.” There is a divisiveness in this rhetoric that reminds me of the Republican Party and of Bush’s axis of evil and so forth.

    Best, Wm. Eaton, montaigbakhtinian.com

    Reply
  10. I’ve read you blog and think its very well written. After seeing decades of political blunders by our nation’s finest, I tend to be more apolitical since I see small differences between parties and ideals. Nevertheless, thank you very much for visiting our Isaac Asimov Blog. If you enjoy science fiction, you may want to visit our Arthur C Clarke and Robert A Heinlein blogs when you have time.

    Reply
  11. Interesting article, I appreciate your liberal interpretation of the Republican Party and your atheist interpretation of Christianity. A couple things I think I should clarify for you as a moderate to conservative Evangelical Christian:
    – Jesus was not a profit (as you typed) or for that matter a prophet, he was and is God.
    – Jesus is often misrepresented as you say. However, his silence on a particular issue does not mean that he was for that issue. The Gospels are not meant to be exhaustive, but were written for a specific audience in 1st century Israel. John 21:25 says, “Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.”
    – I’d be cautious about calling Jesus a liberal or conservative. If I had to take a guess I believe he would be somewhere between the two, although to my memory Jesus never aligned himself to any group and probably wouldn’t align himself in our political system either.
    – Christians don’t just take the words of Jesus seriously, but the whole of Scripture, which we believe to be inspired by God. The Bible is clear on issues such as homosexuality, marriage, and abortion. However, Christians do often wrongly make homosexuality out to be a worse sin…all sin is sin and no one sin is worse then another.
    – Finally, like everyone else we do have values and some of those values certainly do go against some of our cultures values. However, we do not use Jesus to enslave people.

    Reply
  12. Pingback: Hyper-Conservatism and the Christian Republican Paradox | Dustin McMahon | Scotties Toy Box

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